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Diversionary and Community Cautions: Draft Code of Practice Published Date: 09/08/2023

This public consultation invites views on the operational impact and workability of the newly drafted Code of Practice for the statutory two-tier framework of Out of Court Disposals, as set out in The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Act 2022.

Out of Court Disposals (OOCDs) is the term used for a range of pre-charge sanctions, used by Police and other prosecution agencies to deal with less serious offending. The PCSC Act 2022 set out reforms to replace the current framework of warnings, penalties, and cautions with a new statutory two-tier framework, which consists of:

  • The Diversionary Caution, which is the upper-tier disposal with conditions attached. A breach of conditions can result in prosecution for the original offence.
  • The Community Caution, which is the lower-tier disposal with conditions attached. A breach of conditions can result in the imposition of a financial penalty. Non-compliance with conditions can also result in a court fine but cannot be prosecuted.

The consultation will run for 10 weeks (to 13 October 2023) and is aimed at prosecution agencies and authorised personnel who will make operational use the Code of Practice in England and Wales, such as the Police and Crown Prosecutors. We also welcome views from members of the public.